Nutrition Superstars: Sophie Bertrand
I am back today sharing another Nutrition Superstars post with you all, and I am featuring one lovely lady today: Sophie of Sophie's Healthy Kitchen. Not only does she have a killer instagram and blog with some delicious recipes, she is also killing it on the business front after only qualifying as a nutritionist last year! Her approach to nutrition and food is totally refreshing, but I will let you find that out for yourself, let's hear from Sophie.
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself, where are you from and what was your relationship with food like growing up?
Hi! My name is Sophie Bertrand and I grew up in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire (about 30 minutes outside of London). Growing up I was an extremely fussy eater, and when I hit my teens I developed quite an unhealthy relationship with food. To cut a long story short, I experimented with various different restrictive diets and didn’t give nutrition a second thought.
2. What inspired you to start Sophie’s Healthy Kitchen?
I was inspired to start documenting my time in the kitchen when I began to do more and more research in regards to how important nutrition is. I also started to cook for myself and pay more attention to what my body needed to nourish itself. As soon as I started putting my health before how much I weighed on the scales, I became so much happier, so I wanted to share this with other people, and hopefully encourage them to do the same. The name 'Sophie’s Healthy Kitchen’ doesn’t just represent being healthy, but having a healthy relationship with food too. I didn’t want my page to be some super healthy profile filled with nothing but ‘clean eating’ dishes, but more, well just balanced and delicious food that was both nutritious and delicious.
3. What made you want to study nutrition and tell me a bit about your education journey?
I originally studied Psychology at Regents University in London. I found that psychology played a huge role in ones wellbeing and I wanted to learn more. I focused my final research project on Eating Disorders and realised that nutrition education was not a very big part of recovery. Yes, eating disorders are a psychological illness, but their restrictive behaviours towards food also means they’re often malnourished and I wanted to learn more about how to bring these two subjects together. That then inspired me to study Nutrition. I took a year out once I graduated with a BSc and used my time wisely to decide whether an MSc in nutrition was for me. I completed online AFN accredited courses to give myself the foundation of knowledge I would need to then apply for an MSc. I was accepted to UCL and Twickenham uni to study however, UCL allowed me to specialise in eating disorders too, so this is the one I chose!
4. What is your approach to nutrition and health?
My approach to nutrition, as mentioned, is not just about being healthy, but having a healthy relationship with food. Looking after your wellbeing should never mean feeling restrictive or like you’re on a diet. I will hold my hands up and say I once fell for all the fads, adding ‘superfoods’ to my smoothies, taking extra supplements that I really didn’t need, trying out the latest detox teas etc., but the more I studied and the more I researched, I soon realised how unnecessary it was. I think things like this have over complicated nutrition for so many people and my mission is to prove to people it really doesn’t have to be that difficult (or expensive!). My approach therefore is, don’t count calories, remember that every body is different, and what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. Nutrition isn’t black or white and comparison is the thief of joy!
5. What is your favourite area of nutrition?
Oh wow, that’s a difficult one! I am fascinated by gut health and I think the more research that comes out the more we realise what a huge role it plays in our wellbeing. I also love how nutrition can have such an impact on ones mental wellbeing too.
6. What are your career aspirations and what message do you hope to spread?
I have so many goals that I would love to achieve and I really want to help educate people in regards to their health and nutrition. I think we have lost sight of what is important when it comes to what we eat. Our health should be the number 1 priority and I see too many people focusing far too much on the number they see on the scales. Food is not the enemy.
7. What are your favourite ways to relax and exercise?
My favourite ways to relax are to having bath with either oils or epsom salts; I also LOVE getting a massage or a facial haha! Exercise wise I love yoga, barre classes and walking! I know walking sounds like a weird one but being out in the fresh air is also such a good way to relax the mind and exercise your body.
8. What is your favourite comfort food dish?
I love homemade pizza and sweet potato fries and chocolate!
9. What are your thoughts on orthorexia and the rise of the clean eating craze?
I think social media has had a huge impact on the rise of ‘clean eating’. It almost makes us feel guilty for enjoying things like cake and chocolate. I have actually had my own experience with a few people commenting on my page saying that I shouldn’t be posting sweet treats on my account. Food should never be labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad’… this can be so unhelpful for individuals that struggle with their relationship with food. As for orthorexia, I do believe that this can be very damaging to ones health physically and psychologically. Anyone who finds themselves being continuously restrictive, may benefit from seeking help or advice from a registered nutritionist or dietician.
10. Do you have anything exciting in store for 2018? What are your goals for Sophie’s Healthy Kitchen?
There are so many things I have to look forward to but I am afraid I cannot say too much at the moment! I will be going abroad, seeing 1-1 clients and working on a lot more projects.
Be sure to check Sophie's amazing content out at: